Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates June 1805 - Part Seven
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Journals of Lewis and Clark
Dates: June 21, 1805 - June 24, 1805


This article provides interesting facts about their historic journey taken from the Journals of Lewis and Clark dates June 21, 1805 - June 24, 1805.

Lewis and cClark Expedition: Jounal Dates June 21, 1805 - June 24, 1805

The Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates June 1805

The Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates June 21, 1805 - June 24, 1805
The following excerpts are taken from entries of the Journals of Lewis and Clark. Dates: June 21, 1805 - June 24, 1805

June 21, 1805
Friday, June 21. Having made the necessary preparations for continuing our route, a part of the baggage was carried across the creek into the high plain, three miles in advance and placed on one of the carriages with truck wheels: the rest of the party was employed in drying meat and dressing elk skins. We killed several mule deer and an elk, and observed as usual vast quantities of buffalo who came to drink at the river. For the first time on the Missouri we have seen near the falls a species of fishing duck, the body of which is brown and white, the wings white, and the head and upper part of the neck of a brick red, with a narrow beak, which seems to be of the same kind common in the Susquehanna, Potomac and James' river. The little wood which this neighborhood affords consists of the broad and narrow-leafed cottonwood, the box alder, the narrow and broad-leafed willow, the large or sweet willow, which was not common below Maria's river, but which here attains the same size and has the same appearance as in the Atlantic states. The undergrowth consists of roses, gooseberries, currants, small honeysuckles, and the redwood, the inner part of which the engages or watermen are fond of smoking when mixed with tobacco.

June 22, 1805
Saturday, 22. We now set out to pass the portage and halted for dinner at eight miles distance near a little stream. The axletrees of our carriage, which had been made of an old mast, and the cottonwood tongues broke before we came there: but we renewed them with the timber of the sweet willow, which lasted till within half a mile of our intended camp, when the tongues gave way and we were obliged to take as much baggage as we could carry on our backs down to the river, where we formed an encampment in a small grove of timber opposite to the Whitebear islands. Here the banks on both sides of the river are handsome, level, and extensive; that near our camp is not more than two feet above the surface of the water. The river is about eight hundred yards wide just above these islands, ten feet deep in most places, and with a very gentle current. The plains however on this part of the river are not so fertile as those from the mouth of the Muscleshell and thence downwards; there is much more stone on the sides of the hills and on the broken lands than is to be found lower down. We saw in the plains vast quantities of buffalo, a number of small birds, and the large brown curlew, which is now sitting, and lays its eggs, which are of a pale blue with black-specks, on the ground without any nest. There is also a species of lark much resembling the bird called the oldfield lark, with a yellow breast and a black spot on the croup; though it differs from the latter in having its tail formed of feathers of an unequal length and pointed; the beak too is somewhat longer and more curved, and the note differs considerably. The prickly pear annoyed us very much to-day by sticking through our moccasins. As soon as we had kindled our fires we examined the meat which captain Clarke had left here, but found that the greater part of it had been taken by the wolves.

June 23, 1805
Sunday, 23. After we had brought up the canoe and baggage captain Clarke went down to the camp at Portage creek, where four of the men had been left with the Indian woman. Captain Lewis during the morning prepared the camp, and in the afternoon went down in a canoe to Medicine river to look after the three men who had been sent thither to hunt on the 19th, and from whom nothing had as yet been heard. He went up the river about half a mile and then walked along on the right bank, hallooing as he went, till at the distance of five miles he found one of them who had fixed his camp on the opposite bank, where he had killed seven deer and dried about six hundred pounds of buffalo meat, but had killed no elk, the animal chiefly wanted. He knew nothing of his companions except that on the day of their departure from camp he had left them at the falls and come on to Medicine river, not having seen them since. As it was too late to return Captain Lewis passed [280]over on a raft which he made for the purpose and spent the night at Shannon's camp, and the next morning,

June 24, 1805
Monday, 24, sent J. Fields up the river with orders to go four miles and return, whether he found the two absent hunters or not; then descending the southwest side of Medicine river, he crossed the Missouri in the canoe, and sent Shannon back to his camp to join Fields and bring the meat which they had killed: this they did, and arrived in the evening at the camp on Whitebear islands. A part of the men from Portage creek also arrived with two canoes and baggage. On going down yesterday captain Clarke cut off several angles of the former route so as to shorten the Portage considerably, and marked it with stakes: he arrived there in time to have two of the canoes carried up in the high plain about a mile in advance. Here they all repaired their moccasins, and put on double soals to protect them from the prickly pear and from the sharp points of earth which have been formed by the trampling of the buffalo during the late rains: this of itself is sufficient to render the portage disagreeable to one who had no burden; but as the men are loaded as heavily as their strength will permit, the crossing is really painful: some are limping with the soreness of their feet, others are scarcely able to stand for more than a few minutes from the heat and fatigue: they are all obliged to halt and rest frequently, and at almost every stopping place they fall and many of them are asleep in an instant; yet no one complains and they go on with great cheerfulness. At their camp Drewyer and Fields joined them, and while Captain Lewis was looking for them at Medicine river, they returned to report the absence of Shannon about whom they had been very uneasy. They had killed several buffalo at the bend of the Missouri above the falls: and dried about eight hundred pounds of meat and got one hundred pounds of tallow: they had also killed some deer, but had seen no elk. After getting the party in motion with the canoes captain Clarke returned to his camp at Portage creek.

We were now occupied in fitting up a boat of skins, the frame of which had been prepared for the purpose at Harper's ferry. It was made of iron, thirty-six feet long, four feet and a half in the beam, and twenty-six inches wide in the bottom. Two men had been sent this morning for timber to complete it, but they could find scarcely any even tolerably straight sticks four and a half feet long, and as the cottonwood is too soft and brittle we were obliged to use the willow and box-alder.

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Journals of Lewis and Clark - Dates: June 21, 1805 - June 24, 1805

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